This bill was passed in the MA House of Representatives on June 29, 2022 by a vote of 136-17.
Rep. Domb had the opportunity and privilege to speak in support of the bill on the House floor during debate, albeit remotely. You can listen to her speech here.
Here are the details of what’s covered in the legislation:
- Allows providers to apply to the Secretary of State to shield the health care professional’s address from public disclosure.
- Designates reproductive health care and gender-affirming services as legally protected health care activity.
- Reaffirms that access to reproductive health care and gender-affirming services are a right secured by the constitution or laws of the Commonwealth.
- Requires insurance coverage for abortion and abortion-related care without being subject to deductibles, coinsurance, copayments, or other cost-sharing requirements.
- Requires the Department of Public Health (DPH) to issue a statewide standing order to authorize licensed pharmacists to dispense emergency contraception (Plan B).
- Protects providers and out-of-state patients in Massachusetts by:
— Prohibiting the Boards of Registration of various health professions from disciplining or taking adverse action on an application for registration of any person who assists with reproductive health care or gender-affirming services;
— Prohibiting Massachusetts law enforcement from providing information related to an investigation or inquiry into legally protected health care services to federal or another state’s law enforcement agencies, quasi-law enforcement agencies, or private citizens;
— Prohibiting medical malpractice insurers from discriminating against a provider that offers reproductive or gender-affirming health care services;
— Protecting Massachusetts residents from efforts to enforce court rulings from other states based on health care activity that is legally protected in Massachusetts;
— Prohibiting any Massachusetts court from ordering a person in Massachusetts to give testimony or produce documents for use in connection with any proceeding in an out-of-state tribunal concerning legally protected health care activity;
— Protecting Massachusetts residents and providers from lawsuits seeking to penalize health care activities legally protected in Massachusetts;
— Prohibiting a justice from issuing a summons for a person in Massachusetts to testify or appear in a court in another state in prosecutions or grand jury investigations related to legally protected health care activity; and
— Limiting the Governor’s authority to surrender persons to acts that would be punishable under Massachusetts law and prohibiting them from surrendering a person charged in another state as a result of engaging in legally protected health care activity.